Peter Schaffer, the agent for Cowboys RT La’el Collins, tells Jason La Canfora that his client was surprised by the five-game suspension he received from the NFL handed last week and they plan to continue to fight for further appeal.
Collins was specifically suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
La Canfora reports that Collins has been tested roughly 10 times a month over the past 18 months and has not tested positive for marijuana once between Oct. 21, 2020 and Aug. 11, 2021. However, Collins has been cited seven times for “failure to appear” for testing, which is why he was suspended by the league.
According to La Canfora, the testing dates that Collins missed were on days when the Cowboys had sent players home due to a COVID-related situation and there were other mitigating circumstances.
La Canfora notes that there doesn’t appear to be any language in the new substance-abuse policy that stipulates seven failures to appear for drug testing results in “failure to cooperate” and is grounds for suspension.
Dallas is forced to assume that Collins is out for the next five weeks of the regular season.
Collins, 27, signed on with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent out of LSU in 2015. He was set to make a base salary of $616,750 for the 2017 season when the Cowboys signed him to a two-year, $15.4 million extension through 2019.
Collins is in the second year of his five-year, $50 million deal and was set to earn base salaries of $8,55 million and $10 million over the next two years.
In 2021, Collins has appeared in one game and made one start for the Cowboys.